At least 18 foreign tourists have been killed as their hot air balloon crashed near the famed ancient city of Luxor.
An Egyptian security official says the casualties included French, British and other nationals.
The official says there was a fire and an explosion and that the balloon then plunged from the sky and crashed into sugar cane fields west of Luxor on Tuesday. Luxor is 510km south of Cairo.
An Associated Press reporter at the crash site says he counted eight bodies as they were put into body bags and taken away.
An employee at the company operating the balloon said the tourists were from Korea, Japan and Britain, as well as one Egyptian.
'This is terrible, just terrible,' an employee told AFP, declining to give her name.
'We don't yet know what happened exactly or what went wrong.'
The balloon which was carrying 21 people was flying at 300m over Qurna, in Luxor's West Bank, when it caught fire before exploding, a security official said.
Two survivors, including the balloon's pilot, have been taken to hospital, he said.